Monday, July 05, 2010

When friends’ marriages break up

ancient roman marriageImage via Wikipedia
By Dr James Dobson

Divorce may be happening more and more these days, but there’s still something about it that shocks us when we hear that close friends are separating; and we say to ourselves: “I wish there was something I could do.”

It’s very easy for us to be so overwhelmed by our friends’ problems that we simply ignore them. We don’t know what to say, so we say nothing, and we leave these lonely people to their private pain. Or else we join the chorus of people who offer simplistic solutions and fail to address the pain. “It never was meant to be,” some may say. Or: “You’ll be better off without him.”

And yet, survey after survey confirms the fact that couples in crisis will hint of their pain to friends long before seeking professional help. And when friends do come alongside the troubled couple, sometimes a marriage could be saved.

A man can meet with another man for lunch and talk about his marriage, and offer encouragement and support during the hard times. A woman can get together with another wife to be a sounding board and a listening ear. A couple can offer to watch the kids for a weekend so their friends can get away for a romantic time together.

There’s so much we can do to shore up a quaking, wounded relationship. The key is to watch for the signs of trouble and then sensitively offer encouragement and love, and that’s what being real friends are all about.

From TODAY, Voices - Thursday, 24-June-2010

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